by Sarah Dollendorf
Grand Island High School DECA
With the Grand Island school year well underway, and with the capital project expanding the high school terrain a few feet further every day, the high school building foundations formed in the past are being restructured in the present with the intent to revolutionize the Island's future. In effort to preserve today's customs for the future, the Grand Island High School DECA business and marketing organization has coined a time capsule project to embody the atmosphere of the current school and community's culture.
"At the groundbreaking for the STEM wing at the high school with Mary Jane Fonte, the Junior DECA advisor and family and consumer science teacher in the middle school, I realized that these changes will lastingly impact GI as a whole," stated Cheryl Chamberlain, teacher and DECA advisor at the high school. "And, in effort to really make students feel at home even while the school is under construction, both MJ and I wanted to have them be involved with the capital project and the new science, technology, engineering and math wing in a fun, innovate way. I remember looking at MJ and asking, 'Wouldn't it be cool to have DECA create a time capsule?' and that's really how we got the idea to do this project rolling."
The time capsule is to be filled with the most significant items in students everyday lives concurrent to the beginning of construction; these items, in theory, in 25 to 50 years may be obsolete and unusual to students of future generations. Its location will be somewhere within the new STEM wing addition to the high school, and the capsule will be enclosed sometime within the next one or two years.
"For me, the time capsule is really significant because there's a possibility that my grandchildren will be present on the Island for the unveiling of the items whenever that may be - whether 25 years or 50 years in the future," Fonte said. "I'm also excited because two outgoing eighth-graders will be able to survey students in lunch and determine a list of possible items of what we can include in the time capsule. I laughed when they first suggested a teacher - one whose name they refused to disclose to me - but couldn't believe how brilliant other suggestions have been, like a package of loose-leaf paper: the students believe that in the future, we will live in a paperless school world. Other suggestions entailed an old laptop, a flyswatter because 'maybe in the future there will be air-conditioning here so that kids don't have to kill bugs that fly in from outside on hot days,' and other technology that is representative of our school and modern day culture."
"The student representatives at the high school for the time capsule project have tossed up ideas of signature trademarks that define our school culture, like iconic items with Viking pride, a piece of turf from Masters Field that will be completely revamped after construction ends, a yearbook for this school year, and a video that documents the learning environments and the traditional classroom setting so that future students know exactly what it was like to be a student during the capital project. This video will also include messages from students to fully let the future generations get a feel for our daily lives at the school; you never know what it might be like 20 to 30 years from now," Chamberlain said.
Amid the high school, there is one representative for each grade level from 9-12 to collect and formulate items for the time capsule that would be fitting to epitomize Grand Island culture. After narrowing down these choices to a list of around 25 possible items, the community will have the opportunity to determine the most popular and suitable things to place in the capsule via filling out a survey at the Taste of Grand Island at DECA's booth on Saturday, Sept. 28. A pneumatic tube donated by First Niagara at the festival will thankfully represent the time capsule, and DECA members will be manning their station in effort to promote the club's message and sell this concept of the time capsule to the public.
Personally, as the vice president and Grand Island representative of Region 12 DECA, I can say that the implementation of this time capsule project through DECA is something that DECA can inspire in students, as DECA helps shape individuals to think big and benefit their communities. This club has enabled me to learn to thoroughly interact and communicate with members of my community and market my ideas and visions to my peers; upholding these standards, DECA is putting itself out in society at the Taste of Grand Island this Saturday at their booth at the day-long event in effort to market the idea of the time capsule project, to inspire entrepreneurship in members that volunteer through selling refreshments to festival-goers, and to engage with society in order to reinstate the significance community member's opinions hold in the actions at the high school; if it weren't for taxpayers in the community, our DECA organization, nor the student's invaluable educations, would be available to us. Thus, in reality, the community dictates this project; your opinion matters immensely to us, so come out this Saturday and submit your opinion for which items would be best in the time capsule: the depiction of our present to the future depends on it.